Cleaning aluminum windows - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-23-2009, 09:24 PM   #1
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I am shocked that I can't find an answer to this. The Boler's windows are extremely oxidized. And since they leak and we will be taking them out sometime, I really would like to clean and shine them.

Has anyone used this product?

http://www.metalwax.com/METAL%20CLEANER.htm
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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Hi: Amy M... I used a product called NevrDul that is avail in most hardware stores. It comes in a small can and is a wading wool that you just rub on and wipe off. Here's a pic of one window I completely rebuilt with all new screen/ operator/and gaskets from Vintage Trailer Supply.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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I prefer Simichrome or 3M polish.

Say, Alf, did you by any chance replace the operators on any of the larger windows (next to the dinette)? Mine are a little stiff and I'm not sure if they're lube-able (I posted a query here but didn't get anyone answering who had lubed them).

Just in case, it would be nice to know if those operators worked on both styles of window (my small windows' cranks are easy to operate).

And.. ooh, shiny!

Raya
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:50 PM   #4
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Excellent, thank you. I think I actually saw a photo of your window before in a different search but I couldn't find it again. It looks great. How dull was it before?

I am certain I will have to get some new parts, certainly the soft ones, for each window as well. How long did it take you to fully rebuild each window?


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Hi: Amy M... I used a product called NevrDul that is avail in most hardware stores. It comes in a small can and is a wading wool that you just rub on and wipe off. Here's a pic of one window I completely rebuilt with all new screen/ operator/and gaskets from Vintage Trailer Supply.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:04 PM   #5
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Hi: All... It doesn't take long to drill out the rivets and remove them!!! I ordered all the gaskets from Vintage T.S. and got prompt service by mail. I think they also have the operators/winders for the dinette windows. To lube them you really need to have them apart any way. I found while visiting in Florida that Ace Hdware had all sizes of them in stock. Because of that I got the job to replace some broken cranks/operators on my friends Mobile Home.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie p.s. here's another pic.p.s.s. They were very dull and the wadding would go totally black!!!
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:32 AM   #6
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Aluminum is rough to keep shiny. Aluminum's dull lustre results from a thin coating of oxygen that forms when it is exposed to air. This characteristic accounts for aluminum's resistance to corrosion. Checkout aluminum diamond plate boxes for instance, look shiny new, not so good after being exposed to the elements.

HOWEVER, if you put a really good wax on the aluminum you can keep them shiny longer. But, you must be diligent in keeping the area waxed. Front windows and tongue boxes are scrubbed by air when under tow and require waxing more frequently.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:46 AM   #7
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I was wondering about that, Donna. Because I think I'd read it here before. But on the other hand, when I had a motorcycle (years ago), we used to polish the aluminum parts with Simichrome, and they would take on a brilliant lustre (like chrome) and then I don't remember having to do them again. Maybe it's a difference between castings and extrusions?

It's funny, because stainless responds well to polishing; it kind of "repassivates" it and makes it more rust-resistant. But I've kind of gotten away from knowing anything about aluminum, since it's not used that much (bare) on salt water boats (if it's there, it's painted or anodized).

Okay, coming to the point here (finally!): Does anyone know the metallurgy/science behind this? I'd like to know before I polish my aluminum windows.

Raya
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:56 AM   #8
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Knowing me, I won't be too preoccupied with keeping them super shiny over time. But since they need to come out anyway and are obviously dusty and creaky from being the in the desert for years and years, I would like to do what I can to improve their appearance and functioning at least once. I find that whenever I get a previously used thing (like an apartment or house or car), I go around and clean obsessively, repaint, etc. so it is fresh to me. But after that, I am fine with a fair amount of dirt/messiness/wear and tear. I think it's because I am comfortable with my own dirt!
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
I was wondering about that, Donna. Because I think I'd read it here before. But on the other hand, when I had a motorcycle (years ago), we used to polish the aluminum parts with Simichrome,
Raya
From the Simichrome website:
"In addition to restoring the original luster, Simichrome also leaves an invisible, protective coating to prevent further tarnishing and help keep the shine much longer."

So, it is a wax/sealant of sorts too. But, if anything other is used to shine aluminum (NevRDull, Brasso), I'd think a good wax should then be used.

So many things to use, some just require more additional work.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:13 PM   #10
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Perhaps the Simichrome is doing something chemically, like what a good metal polish will do to stainless (somewhat re-passivating it). For some reason I don't think it's anything of a waxy sort. Now I'm totally curious about the metallurgy behind it (polishing aluminum in general; not just Simichrome specifically).

I've never really liked Nev'r Dull - now maybe I can feel justified

Raya

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